The SHARE Blog

The Amnesty Law

October 27, 2008

For the upcoming municipal, legislative, and presidential elections 2009, the question of justice for the wounds from the civil war is raising up in the public debate. The El Salvadoran civil war resulted in 75000 deaths and 10000 disappearings, according to a study performed by the UN. The law of amnesty is still protecting the offenders from any kind of investigation. Human rights organizations and relatives of victims are demanding a repeal of the law. In responding to this issue, both presidential candidates are clearly opposing the repealment of the law. Mauricio Funes, the presidential candidate for FMLN, states that repealing the amnesty law would create a difficult climate for governing and therefore restrain the creation of a new future. He further states that instead of contributing to reconciliation, it will open up wounds. The presidential candidate for ARENA, Rodrigo Avila, is also distancing himself from a repealment of the amnesty law and is backing up the army which would be threatened by an eventual repealment. Read More »


Saca fails to fulfill his promises about the initiation of the Longitudinal del Norte

October 21, 2008

December 2008 was the president Saca’s announced starting date for the construction of the motorway Longitudinal del Norte. The new executive director of Fomilenio, Josè Àngel Quiròs, on the other hand does not predict the project beginning until 2009.

Today, right after the change of executive director of Fomilenio, it looks like Saca`s words cannot become reality. Fomilenio is the group in charge of implementing the 461 million dollars donatedby the US-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), directed to the creation of economic growth in the Northern part of the country. After a closer look at the timetable, Fomilenio has now proposed an unspecified date in 2009 for the initiation of the project. Read More »


Seeking a home away from homophobia


In the US, there is an increasing acceptance of sexual orientation as grounds for asylum. It is an emerging field of immigration law in the US, and gays and lesbians from different parts of the world are now becoming aware of this opportunity.

Offering a haven for gays and lesbians,the US government is beginning to deal with an increasing number of asylum applications from this group. Homophobic attitudes or lack of international experience among judges and government officials, which could lead to unfortunate decisions, are of concern. A Mexican national was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2003 on the grounds that he was obviously not gay. He then appealed last year and he was granted asylum. At the same time, critics of this practice claim that it is impossible to control fraudulent cases. The applicants could pretend to be gay or lesbian when they are really seeking asylum for other reasons. Read More »


Remittances from US to El Salvador Decline

October 20, 2008

According to a recent Washington Post article, remittances sent from Salvadorans working in the United States did not increase by as much as they have been in recent years. Until recently, money sent home to Latin America had been soaring, helped by increased migration and lower money-transfer costs. Now, with an increase in inflation in Latin America, the dollar does not stretch as far. What’s more, with the looming economic problems in the US, workers have less money to send back to their families. This is significant, especially for El Salvador, because as much as 18% of El Salvador’s GDP depends on remittances from abroad.

Currently, there are groups working to formalize remittance giving by sending the money through banks so that immigrants may have the opportunity to develop economically, allowing them to build assets on their earnings.

– Anna Sanger, Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern


SHARE DC REACHES OUT TO SALVADORAN COMMUNITY

October 17, 2008

Following the guidance of one of our strategic goals, SHARE DC reached out to the Salvadoran community in Washington DC during Hispanic Heritage Month. The Washington DC metro area is home to the second largest Salvadoran community in the United States after Los Angeles, CA. With approximately 500,000 Salvadorans living in the area, they constitute the largest foreign-born population according to the 2005 US Census. Migration from El Salvador to Washington started in the 1970’s, increased in the 1980’s because of the civil war and continued to grow in the late 1990s and into this decade because of the harsh economic conditions back home. Read More »


Say no to US intervention in the Salvadoran elections – Sign the petition!

September 30, 2008

The Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marisol Arqueta, is already lobbying the US to intervene in the upcoming Salvadoran elections.

In her speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), last September 18th, she stated that “Losing El Salvador (if the opposition wins) will be a lose-lose situation for the national security of both El Salvador and the United States”. She exhorted the US to “do more” and to “pay close attention”.

Please sign the petition asking President Saca:

  • To ensure that public employees do not use their positions to influence public opinion on who should win the elections;
  • To ask the Foreign Affairs Minister to explain her statements;
  • To respect the sovereignty of the Salvadoran people to choose their leaders freely.

To read or listen to the Minister’s speech, please visit the AEIs website and click on “Events”, then “Event Materials”, “Past Events”, and “The perils of populism: Hot spots in Latin America”.
SHARE Foundation is collecting signatures that we will send to President Saca. If you want to sign SHARE Foundation’s petition, please contact the SHARE Foundation and list your name, city, and state at sharedc@share-elsalvador.org or call us at 202-319-5542 by Friday, October 10, 2008.

Para la carta en Español, visitenos en nuestro sitio de web (www.share-elsalvador.org)


Lead contamination hurts the poor


In the small community of Sitio del Niño, the inhabitants are living in a contaminated environment. The source of this contamination stems from the battery production of the company, Baterías de El Salvador (Record). Lead from the battery production has polluted the water, the air, and the surrounding environment of the community. Thus, the health security in the community is highly threatened.

Water is a vital necessity for daily life, and is crucial for health and sanitation. Tests of the water carried out by the department of environment indicate that the level of lead in the water was three times above the permitted level by international standards. Unfortunately, the lead from the fabric has spread out through the whole ecosystem. This means that soil, vegetation, and houses are infected by lead. Researchers from the University of El Salvador measured that soils and houses located in a 700 perimeter from the fabric contained levels of lead from ten to fiftheen times higher than the permitted level. Read More »


12 year old Theresa Reflects on her SHARE Delegation

September 24, 2008

Looking out at the dim city lights announcing that we were close to landing in San Salvador, I felt a surge of excitement. This would be my first trip out of the country: my first time in a nation where the language was different from my own, where I was told we would encounter shocking poverty, the kindest of people, and extreme weather, where the population had been scarred by the brutality of war and violence. Was I afraid? Uncertain? Some of each, truthfully, but primarily thrilled to have the chance to immerse myself in a different lifestyle; so much looking forward to meeting the people, practicing my Spanish, and just having an adventure. And what a wonderful adventure it was!

Our time in Nueva Trinidad was, in my opinion, the best half of the trip by far. From the moment the stuffy van pulled into the village center, greeted by a crowd of smiling people, I could feel that these people were special. The second day in the village we took a hike up to see an area that was threatened by mining. Read More »


US presidential candidates on immigration issues

September 15, 2008

With an estimated 2 to 3 million Salvadorans currently in the US (both documented and undocumented combined), US policy on immigration is an issue of great interest and concern to those of us with connections to communities in El Salvador and Salvadorans living in the US. The US Salvadoran community constitutes among one third of the overall El Salvadoran population.

In an ad from the McCain campaign, Obama is accused for not staying on the side of the immigrants. The new ad is launched in battleground states with a significant number of hispanic voters. Obama and the Senate Democrats are also blamed for the immigration reform failure because of their “flawed” immigration policy. Read More »


SHARE Photographer´s “Faces of El Salvador” Photocollage

September 10, 2008

Click below to see photographer Patrick Nau´s photocollage. The photos are taken from his summer 2008 SHARE delegation experience in San Salvador and the community of Ellacuría. Enjoy!
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Byx5eexi0GA]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Byx5eexi0GA
(Or search “Faces of El Salvador” at youtube.com)


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